Running with the Demon Hardcover – Aug 19 1997
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Terry Brooks's Running with the Demon is billed as "A Novel of Good and Evil," but he could've called it "A Novel of Here and Now." The fantasy master behind the Shannara series switches his focus from neo-Tolkien jungles to the woebegone steel town of Hopewell, Illinois. Though Illinois teenager Nest Freemark (where does he get these names?) looks like your average kid, she spends her free time in the woods asking her 6-inch pal Pick for advice in dodging the Demon and his creepy Feeders, spirits who gobble the souls of humans. Nest is also being tailed by John Ross, a shining Knight of the Word who wants to keep her from the Feeders' jaws.
Meanwhile, in the real world that dominates the novel, Nest Freemark is being stalked by a handsome, evil classmate who she has rejected, and a pack of surly, insurgent striking steelworkers plot a bombing at the company's Fourth of July picnic. The boy and the bombers are unaware that they're being subconsciously manipulated by the Demon. The book's matter-of-fact take on the uncanny is a bit like The X-Files. (And if you want to compare the two, check out Ted Edwards's X-Files Confidential: The Unauthorized X-Philes Compendium.)
Brooks's plot has more strands than a plate of pasta, yet his mind is logical to a fault--he used to be a lawyer. There's something for everyone: gory monster attacks, a dread family secret, magical mind-game duels, even a (rather flat) teen-romance subplot. The setting has real grit and the countdown to the Independence Day bombing peps up the tale. Brooks sometimes prosaically explains things a better literary stylist would dramatize, and his minatory visions of environmental apocalypse are more fun than the obvious, nagging, don't-be-a-litterbug message they exist to convey. Brooks will never be as deep as Tolkien, and many readers will find him less awesome as their adolescence recedes. Still, he's the genuine article, and with this book, he raises the stakes he's playing for.
From Library Journal
Legendary sf author Brooks here weaves a tale about an apocalyptic showdown in a small Illinois town between humans and the amber-eyed trolls from another realm that only a girl named Nest can see.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
1 star = abysmal; some books deserve to be forgotten
2 star = poor; a total waste of time
3 star = good; worth the effort
4 star = very good; what writing should be
5 star = fantastic; must own it and share it with others
STORY: As one editorial review nicely put: "Sinnissippi Park, in Hopewell, Illinois, has long hidden a mysterious evil, locked away from humankind by powers greater than most could even imagine. But now the malevolent creatures that normally skulk in the shadows of the park grow bolder, and old secrets hint at a violent explosion. The brewing conflict draws John Ross to Hopewell. A Knight of the Word, Ross is plagued by nightmares that tell him someone evil is coming to unleash an ancient horror upon the world. Caught between them is fourteen-year-old Nest Freemark, who senses that something is terribly wrong but has not yet learned to wield the budding power that sets her apart from her friends."
I unknowingly listened to book 3 of the series first then I got my hands on this one (book1). I don't feel like I totally missed out because both books are contained stories which made the "out of orderness" (such a thing?) bearable.
I like the story since it leaves the typical fantasy and sci-fi genres and deals with magic and demons in the current world. There are enough mysteries to keep you in the story with a desire to want to know what happens next. He handles suspense situations fine and has enough subplot going on to add some depth and reality to characters and setting.
All I can say about the end of the story without giving anything away is that I personally found the ending very anti-climatic. If it was handled differently I would have given this a solid 4 stars.Read more ›
Nest Freemark is a girl who carries on the tradition of the women before by using magic to protect the local park. Namely her grandmother and her deceased mother. Brooks says within the first thirty pages that they are not witches, so Anne Rice fans calm yourselves. A demon arrives at Hopewell along with a Knight of the Word, the egnimatic John Ross. Guess who is caught in the middle.
The book starts with a great chase scene and then calms down for a bit before picking back up. At first it was a bit tedious, but in the last one hundred and fifty pages every bit of it proves very relevant.
The charm and heart of the book comes not from the protagonist Nest or even from John Ross. It comes from the supporting and peripheral characters that pop up throughout the book. Nest's grandmother and grandfather especially, and not keeping the book soley told from the perspective of one character. At the end of the book, you really want to know what happens to everyone. There is the sylvan Pick, a woodland creature but in my opinion he was variation of Abernathy in Brook's Landover series.
The author also blessedly knows how to write kids. He showed some great work in the Star Wars adaptation but it really comes across here.
The foreshadowing power of John Ross is intriguing, but does get a bit repetitive. Still, he is a very enjoyable character when he shows up.
A modern day fantasy told by one of the best. Brooks does not rely on gimmicks and creatures but implements real and relatable people (and sylvans) to drive the story. Other authors of the genre should follow Brooks' lead and not simply stay in one world (are ya listening Jordan & Goodkind?) I would love to see what he does with a collection of short stories or horror.
Get the book and enjoy!
Imagine a world being fought over by the Forces of Good and Evil and the outcome of the battle rests in the hands of ordinary people like you and I, and you have a great story!
John Ross is a Knight of the Word who dreams every night of what the world would become if he fails and the Void wins. Nest Freeman is a 14 year old girl, born in a family who has the use of magic as part of their heritage and who unknowlingly does her part in the battle against the hurt and dispair pre-valent in the world. She must come face to face with her family's dark secrets and on doing so decide how it will affect her (and that of the world's) future.
The style of writing is a bit different to the Shannara series and the story line is down to earth and excellent. Anyone who has been different or could not fit in with the crowd or on the other hand would like to be a little different, would identify with Nest. Also John Ross is a very believable hero whose short-comings and weariness makes him very human.
Very good and riverting reading which also very subtly highlights to us that we all bear responsibility in how the future turns out.
Most recent customer reviews
I was hesitant at first with the more familiar back drop, but I found that Mr. Brooks is just a good writer, whether in a fantasy setting or modern day.Published 20 months ago by Eric Kristensen
A start of another great Terry Brooks Series..
John Ross: Knight of the Word. Chosen to battle the forces of the void and prevent.. Read more
Who on Earth can do this?Who can write three serieses with no resemblance?
Landover was different enough from Shannara,well hey,it was funny. Read more
Heellooooooo Star Wars fans out there! If you liked the Luke/Vader son/father stuff, then you will love this story! Read morePublished on Dec 27 2002 by Jason A. Myers
THis is my all time favorite book. It was very easy for me to get into and I enjoyed all of it. It has the great mixture of Sci Fi/Fantasy and some mystery too.Published on Dec 4 2002
On a hot Fourth of July weekend, two men have descended on the town of Hopewell, Illinois. One of them is John Ross, a Knight of the Word, sent to protect Nest Freemark, a young... Read morePublished on Nov. 7 2002 by Jeffrey T. Munson